I think that’s going to be written on my tombstone.
Scale Series 2 by Benjamin Earwicker (2008) via freeimages.com
I have never been the “thin” girl. The one who could eat anything and not gain weight. I’ve envied her. Father, forgive me. But no, I’ve never been her. I’ve always been a sucker for the exercise and weight loss infomercials though. I’ve spent many hours (and eaten many snacks) watching everything from Deal-a-Meal to Sweatin’ to the Oldies, Insanity to P90X. I’ve googled, How many calories do you burn watching people work out? For some reason the search produced no results. C’mon! Somebody do the research!
The hook, the clincher, the thing that gets you to make the purchase (or at least watch the infomercial the next time it comes on at 2 AM while you’re nursing the baby): The Before & After Photos (I’ll call them B&As)! The transformations are incredible! And now, thanks to social media, these photos aren’t just relegated to the flyer that comes with the DVD. We see them in our Facebook newsfeed and as we scroll through the filtered world of Instagram.
Folded in with my envy of the “after” is always a little suspicion. Did the person really do that in 30 days? What about the lighting? Is she sucking it in?
I’ve taken B&As before. It’s a great way to see the progress you’ve made. Or not made. I’ll admit that I’ve been disappointed when, in order to see the progress, I’ve had to pinch and zoom in. Look, right there. There used to be a second roll and now there’s only one-and-a-half rolls!
I think we all can agree when it comes to weight loss, we want to see results, but sometimes the change that is important is not evident in the photo. I think it’s commonly known as a non-scale victory. Your cholesterol comes down. Your back stops hurting. You can jump rope with your daughter.
After my last “before” photo session (which is basically, me propping the phone up on the ironing board), I stared at the pics and thought, Do I demand to SEE results in other areas of my life? Do I look for visible proof where maybe the stuff going on under the surface is just as or even more important?
Do you find yourself looking for tangible evidence that God is working, or do you celebrate the victories in your heart like feeling peace when you would’ve normally worried, showing patience when your teenager rolls her eyes or receiving strength to resist the temptation to gossip?
Just like it’s a lot easier to post a photo with the caption Down 10 lbs! 8 inches lost! I think it’s also easier to talk about our great God when we have a concrete blessing – the check that showed up in the mail right when we needed it to. But our God is SO great that He is constantly producing results within His sons and daughters. We put in a little exercise and cooperate with His amazing grace and it happens.
God’s transformation of us is continual – we work it out with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12). Don’t think that the non-scale victory isn’t exactly the victory that He wants to see.